England celebrating a well-lived century

Justin Crann
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Violet England doesn't have a secret to long life, but she has enjoyed one.

Vi England is celebrating her 100th birthday on May 18. England resides in Chez Nous, which has planned a party to mark her centennial.

"I really do enjoy it. And it's nice to see the people I know," said England, who turns 100 on Sunday. "I don't have many relations left, but I see friends and that's nice. … I just live an ordinary life."

England's ordinary life began near Mossbank. 

She grew up "halfway between Expanse and Dunkirk" and lived there for quite some time.

Her father, like many Saskatchewan people, was a farmer, England said.

She grew up milking cows, watering the animals and taking care of the calves, before moving to Indian Head with her husband.

The couple also lived in B.C. for 42 years — "in Vancouver some, but a lot of it was in Surrey."

When England's husband died, she moved back to Saskatchewan to be close to family, she said.

Before she lost her mobility in a stroke, she kept very physically active.

When she was younger, England was a runner.

"I would participate in all kinds of races, and I usually won them. I could run very fast," she said. "I don't know why. I just could. There wasn't an awful lot (of training)."

Now that she is confined to a wheelchair, England passes the time with crossword puzzles and reading, and she also takes in the musical performances at Chez Nous, where she resides.

Reflecting on her life, she said, "I wasn't lucky all of the time. I'd had some operations and I was sick sometimes. But I was really active, and I always did stay fit.

"I haven't too many complaints about my life," she added. "Most of it has been very good. I had some sad times, of course. But otherwise, it hasn't been too bad."

England will mark her birthday with the staff and her fellow residents in Chez Nous on Sunday.

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter.

Geographic location: England, Saskatchewan, Mossbank B.C. Vancouver Surrey

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